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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2005 Aug 15;22(4):317-24.

Is coeliac disease screening in risk groups justified? A fourteen-year follow-up with special focus on compliance and quality of life.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Tampere University Hospital, UKK Institute for Health Promotion Research, School of Public Health, Medical School, University of Tampere, Finland.



The benefits of serologic screening for coeliac disease in asymptomatic individuals are debatable.


To investigate dietary compliance, quality of life and bone mineral density after long-term treatment in coeliac disease patients found by screening in risk groups.


The study comprised 53 consecutive screen-detected coeliac patients diagnosed 14 years (median) ago. Dietary compliance was assessed by interview, 4-day food record and serology. Quality of life was evaluated by the Psychological General Well-Being and SF-36 questionnaires, gastrointestinal symptoms by the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale and bone mineral density by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Comparisons were made to 44 symptom-detected-treated coeliac patients, 110 non-coeliac subjects and the general population.


A total of 96% of screen-detected and 93% of symptom-detected coeliac patients adhered to a strict or fairly strict gluten-free diet. In screen-detected patients, quality of life and gastrointestinal symptoms were similar to those in symptom-detected patients or non-coeliac controls and bone mineral density was similar to that in the general population.


Long-term dietary compliance in screen-detected patients was good. Quality of life and bone mineral density were comparable with those in non-coeliac subjects and the general population. Active screening in coeliac disease risk groups seems to be reasonable rather than harmful.

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